What is this series and what will it help me do?
During transitions, people often get stuck in worry, doubt, wringing of hands, confusion, chaos, and internal “noise” about not knowing. Many find it hard not to know the answer; not to know exactly what’s next. The goal of the workshop is to give you some time, space, and stillness not to know. The series is designed to help create a shift from anxiety to curiosity. I use creative writing as a way to connect to the right brain where creative answers, inner knowing, and wisdom exist. The workshop offers a space to explore, be curious, wonder, and happen upon realizations.
I don’t consider myself a writer. Can I still sign up for the Butterfly Series?
Absolutely. In fact, a great number of participants would not call themselves writers. The workshop is designed to use writing as a way to connect with yourself and your inner knowledge. The exercises are structured so that everyone can benefit from them. In all the time I’ve been facilitating the workshop, I’ve never had anyone who didn’t find the writing exercises useful. That said, some of the exercises will move you more than others. Many folks are surprised to see what they can produce once they put pen to paper.
I do consider myself a writer. How will the Butterfly Series add value to my craft?
The workshop is generative, meaning I provide many opportunities for participants to create material. If writing is your craft, you will generate pieces that you can take with you and develop into longer pieces (stories, poems, personal essays, &/or plays) should you so choose. In addition, weekly writing prompts provide a solid structure for writing. You may also get ideas/inspiration for your work from that opportunity.
Why a group instead of individual work? How do the other women support my transition?
Isolation is one of the ways that many people respond when they are feeling challenged, uncertain, or scared. Being in a group of women who are also experiencing some sort of life transition can be validating and supportive. The workshop is structured to be self-paced, meaning that everyone is on an individual journey, but we come together to be in community and explore what’s happening inside of us. You may meet someone in the workshop with whom you’ll maintain an ongoing connection/friendship. If that happens, wonderful. It may simply be that the other women are there to be in community with you during this part of your journey.
Is there any work in between sessions?
Part I of the series is six weeks and includes a workbook that we use for each session. The workbook also contains 26 weeks of writing prompts. I strongly encourage participants to do weekly writing. That amounts to about ten to fifteen minutes per week of writing. My experience is that women who do the weekly writing get more out of The Butterfly Series. Of course, there is no consequence for not doing the writing and since the book is yours to keep, you could choose to do the writing prompts at any point in time.
Part II of the series does not include a workbook but participants have the option of purchasing my book, The Butterfly Series: Fifty-two weeks of Inquiries for Transformation, which contains a year of weekly writing prompts (and, yes, Part I is a prerequisite for participation in Part II).
How many women participate and what’s the group demographic?
The groups are limited to four (minimum) to six (maximum) women. Participants vary across age, race, class, and sexual orientation. I’ve had participants in their twenties, in their seventies, and everything in between. I have a personal commitment to work toward a group that is racially diverse, and I am intentional about recruitment and reaching out to a multiracial group of prospective participants.
I have also done several affinity groups: teens, women who’ve lost their mothers, and a BIWOC group (Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color). My goal is to respond to the needs and requests of prospective participants and do my best to be thoughtful and intentional about bringing people together.
I don’t have a life transition that I can name, I only have a feeling there’s something brewing. Is the workshop still right for me?
Yes. You don’t need to name it. You only need to know there’s something you want to explore.
I don’t know where I’m going. I’m confused about what’s next. Is the workshop still right for me?
Yes. I would actually encourage you NOT to know where you’re going and what’s next. This is a journey into the unknown, for many, and the workshop provides support and structure for that journey. The goal of the workshop is to get you to be more in tune with your inner knowing and the right brain. As you do that, answers/signs will emerge. Your job will be to follow them.
Will I have all the answers regarding my current life transition by the end of the workshop?
Probably not. Some women enter the series with a very specific transition (moving to a new apartment; life after minor surgery). Other women are looking to explore bigger life questions (What do I want to do next in life? How can I let go of the fear that is keeping me from taking the next step? What’s my vision for what’s next?). Depending on the nature of your transition and your personal process of change, you may get “answers” or you may simply take the next step in your journey. I’d say come prepared to explore and see what emerges. Most importantly, trust the process.
What is the value/take away at the end of the series?
The takeaway, ideally, is a heightened ability to listen to yourself and to trust your instincts, feelings, and inspirations. Beyond that, it is impossible to know what magic will happen for you.
How do I apply for the Series?
In order to apply for the series, you must first schedule a ½ hour phone conversation with me or attend a free 1/2 hour online orientation about the series. During that conversation, I can discuss the series with you, answer questions, and learn a bit about what you are hoping to get from the series. From that session, we’ll both be able to assess whether the workshop is right for you at this particular juncture in life.
What is the cost of the series and what does that cost include?
Beginning in JUNE 2020, I’ll charge a sliding scale for the online workshops. The Covid-19 pandemic has created financial stress for many and I want to make the workshop as accessible to as many women as possible. Participants who can afford more will help make it possible for those who can afford less. I discuss the details of the sliding scale in the free 1/2 hour online orientation. Payment can be made via Venmo, PayPal, or with a check. Contact me to schedule a free orientation.
The workshop is what I need in my life now, but I am experiencing severe financial hardship.
Please contact me to discuss your situation if you are experiencing severe financial hardship. I make no guarantees that there will be an enrollment option, but I’d be open to discussing what you might need to make this work.
What about men?
A dear friend of mine who read these FAQs asked me about men. The short answer is that when I think about my life purpose, I feel that my work is to empower women. Much of my life experience is rooted in working with women. That said, I have two sons who I love more than anything, and if there was a group of men in the Bay Area who self-organized and wanted me to facilitate a series for them, I’d certainly entertain that conversation.
In September 2018 I published a book containing fifty-two weeks of inquiries on life transitions. It is not meant to replace the series, but to be a companion to it. https://amzn.to/2QBL9us
The book is also available as a set with a butterfly journal & a butterfly bookmark. Please contact me if you’d like to purchase the set for yourself or as a gift.